So Cal Dive Industry

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Posted by Firewalker on September 26, 2007 at 17:44:19:

The Dive industry in So Cal is near dead. It has been on life support since the mid 90ís. All that will be left by 2010 will be a few chains and Sports Chalet.
In the 60ís, 70ís and 80sí So Cal was the hot bed of diving in this country. Now itís a burned out shell of what it was. There are fewer shops, fewer boats (and soon even fewer), and fewer real divers.
There are lots of reasons for the death of the dive industry in So Cal. But I think the main reason is the change of demographics ( the baby boomers are old, aerospace is gone, Cousteau is dead, Mike Nelson is dead).
Of course catalog sales (internet), havenít helped or has the basic cheapness of many divers (itís funny you would see a guy drive up in a $50,000 car and then they gird you over the price of their life support gear, by the way, most divers loyalty factor in about $10 bucks)..
I think the last straw for many stores will be PADIís new online program. You can now get all of your academic training online from PADI with no instructor (Store) involvement. Yes, they still have to do pool work and Ocean dives with an instructor. But, this could very will take away the resort student from the local stores (the resort student has been the lifeís blood the local stores for the last 20 years). New divers can take their online course with PADI and then go to a PADI resort and do their pool work and ocean work never setting foot in a local store (no books sales, no mask, fins, and snorkel sales, no class sales). PADI gets $120 for the course and the Pic. The Local store gets nothing.
I think that this new program will be the final nail in the coffin of many the remaining stores in So Cal.
Itís to bad it has been a great run. This next generation doesnít know what they missed.

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